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Massachusetts drought numbers plummet after days of ‘beneficial’ rain

The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Map courtesy of NDMC

Drought conditions in Massachusetts are on the decline this week as a result of abnormally high rainfall so far this month, according to the National Weather Service and the US Drought Monitor.

The data shows .03 percent of Massachusetts falls under the US Drought Monitor’s “moderate drought” categorization — a steep decline from 20.09 percent this time last week. Western Massachusetts continues to fall under the Drought Monitor’s “abnormally dry” categorization, while eastern parts of the state, including Boston, are free from drought conditions entirely.

Boston has received 1.25 inches of rain so far this month, up .70 inches from the “normal” value of 0.55 inches, the weather service said. Last year, the city had received .80 inches of rain to this point in the month of May.

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Rainfall totals are higher than normal in Worcester as well, according to the weather service. The city has received 1.32 inches of rain compared to the normal value of 0.59 inches.

The area of Massachusetts classified as “abnormally dry”, almost entirely in the western part of the state, fell this week as well — from 92.59 percent to 68.36 percent, according to the drought monitor.

“This week’s rainfall led to reduction of areas of Abnormally Dry in ... Massachusetts,” the drought monitor said.

New England saw a decline in drought as well, according to the US Drought Monitor. The area of the region in moderate drought fell from 13.54 percent to 9.05 percent.

The drought conditions declined “in response to precipitation,” the report said.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service tweeted “beneficial” rain had fallen across Southeastern Massachusetts, as well as Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The Drought Monitor labels abnormally dry areas as those that are “not in drought, but are experiencing abnormally dry conditions that could turn into drought or are recovering from drought but are not yet back to normal.”

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Charlie McKenna can be reached at charlie.mckenna@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.